Turkey said it only accepts full EU membership, not privileged partnership

Turkey said Wednesday that any deviation from full EU membership would be unacceptable, a sharp reaction to conservative EU lawmakers who have been pressing the bloc to offer Muslim Turkey a privileged partnership instead of full entry into the group.

Turkey is scheduled to open accession talks with the European Union on Monday.

"A deviation from the goal of full membership negotiations can not be accepted under any condition," Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan said. "We've relayed our concerns and all elements which are unacceptable to us to our EU partners several times."

Tan called on EU countries to fulfill their pledges to start membership negotiations on Oct. 3.

"With the peace of fulfilling all our responsibilities, we're waiting for the EU members to keep their promise," Tan said.

Meanwhile, Tan criticized a recent EU declaration demanding that the country recognize new EU member Cyprus.

"We're not in an exercise of recognizing the Greek Cypriot side, we're in an exercise of building a common future with Europe, we're in an exercise of starting negotiations," Tan said.


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